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Foreign Data Unsafe From US Patriot Act, Says American Law Firm 328

Posted by samzenpus
from the long-arm-of-the-law dept.
natecochrane writes "A prestigious law firm warns non-U.S. businesses their data is unsafe from costly and invasive raids by American law enforcement even if they host their data in their own countries. The wide interpretation of the USA Patriot Act ensures U.S. cops can legally demand data from almost anyone, anywhere for any reason and countries and their citizens are largely powerless to resist. The advice has resonance with the arrest this week of Kim 'Dotcom' on alleged copyright violations in the U.S."
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Foreign Data Unsafe From US Patriot Act, Says American Law Firm

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  • Re:legally demand (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 26, 2012 @09:21AM (#38827533)

    They are free to ignore the demands, true.

    The article, however, spoke of the conflict of IT companies that had interests in the U.S., who may be forced to obey U.S. law. Specifically, the story is about the privacy commissioner of my province (Alberta) recommending that our government only use companies with no U.S. connections to guarantee the privacy of the data.

    That means no American companies, no outsourcing to the U.S., and no data storage in the United States. The U.S. are international lepers in the privacy world and should be avoided at all costs.

  • by MikeRT (947531) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @09:32AM (#38827611) Homepage

    The advice has resonance with the arrest this week of Kim 'Dotcom' on alleged copyright violations in the U.S."

    MegaUpload maintained a large nexus in the US, which is what exposed them to prosecution. We can disagree about the extradition (not particularly in favor of it myself, but it is probably legal under treaty), but if an American citizen set up a business with a nexus in NZ or Germany that severely broke their copyright laws, they would be fair game the moment they set foot on their territory or of a sympathetic state's territory. Let's not conflate these issues. They're bad enough on their own.

  • Funny? How so? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 26, 2012 @09:52AM (#38827769)

    Pax Romana's a bitch, but not if you're Rome.

  • Re:legally demand (Score:4, Informative)

    by jamstar7 (694492) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @09:56AM (#38827835)
    And the Iraqis (twice!), the Afghans, the Chileans...

    I could go on, but why bother?
  • Re:legally demand (Score:5, Informative)

    by rainmouse (1784278) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @10:15AM (#38828027)
    For those interested in this treaty, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extradition_Act_2003 [wikipedia.org] It makes for some outrageous reading.
  • Re:legally demand (Score:4, Informative)

    by Nadaka (224565) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @10:22AM (#38828103)

    There are no liberal democrats, only democrats slightly less conservative than the average republican.

  • Re:legally demand (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @10:36AM (#38828273) Journal
    There is a specific clause in the treaty allowing extradition to be refused in cases where capital punishment is considered likely. I believe that this is required due to other treaty obligations (e.g. the ECHR), which prohibit UK citizens from being subject to the death penalty while under British jurisdiction (sending them off to another country to be killed counts). A more balanced treaty would also allow extradition to be refused if the crime were not illegal under UK law (we have this in most extradition treaties) and would have more symmetrical evidence requirements - currently, the standard of evidence required to extradite from the UK to USA is a lot lower than vice versa.
  • Re:legally demand (Score:5, Informative)

    by Baloroth (2370816) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @10:36AM (#38828275)

    Conservatism is about stopping the advancement of progressiveness and liberty, or in extreme cases, to roll it back.

    Ah, nope! Might wanna consult a dictionary on that one.

    Conservatism (Latin: conservare, "to preserve")[1] is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society.

    So by definition, conservatives are opposed to new laws that infringe on existing liberties. Actually, they are opposed to new laws in general.

    P.S. Most of the so-called "conservatives" in the US government aren't really conservative.

  • Re:legally demand (Score:2, Informative)

    by Nadaka (224565) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @10:49AM (#38828435)

    Fascism is a subset of the conservative ideology, fascism is very opposed to progress toward liberty.

  • Re:legally demand (Score:5, Informative)

    by b4dc0d3r (1268512) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @11:28AM (#38828883)

    This is par for the course in international business. I work for a Fortune 20 Or Less company, and we have data centers all around the world specifically to accomodate contractual language such as this. Support teams are made up of people from different countries to ensure we can meet the requirement of who can and cannot see the data.

    Each country is organized as its own subsidiary. This was probably expensive, but we can say "Go talk to the subsidiary in that country" because we don't have the data. International law is tricky, and you can be sure there are some very weasly lawyers at the top making sure everything is deniable.

    Short version, yes it's possible, but you have to organize things correctly. The whole point of the article is that it's easy to miss something and there goes your privacy.

"Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods." -- Albert Einstein

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